The Veil of Secrecy
The topics of UFOs, alien abductions, and the like continue to emerge in the news and are gaining even more popularity in the entertainment media And, as never before, the folklore continues to get mixed in with the facts.
One of the most frequently asked questions we encounter as we travel is "What really happened at Roswell, New Mexico, in July of 1947?"1 There are many bizarre stories that have emerged from those strange days, and the truth is that no one really has advanced any convincing proof.
But many feel they know.
Something really did happen; the Army did seal off the area; and, much was transported into the never-never-land of military security. The cover-up itself remains a mystery.
In fact, the primary mystery surrounding the fabled events at Roswell is, "Why are these events still, after over 50 years, the subject of the most stringent governmental security and classification?"
The degree of government involvement in the area of UFOs and related topics has, in and of itself, sustained a substantial level of concern and controversy.
What contributes to this confusion is the continuing series of puerile and inane cover stories and disinformation that continue to be disseminated by various government agencies.
The exemplar of these was the attribution of the Roswell crash to that of a "weather balloon."
The Contradictory Press Conferences
After Sheriff George Wilcox contacted the military authorities at Roswell Army Air Field regarding the wreckage discovered on Mac Brazel's ranch, the area was sealed off and on July 8, 1947, Colonel William Blanchard, Commander of the 509th Bomb Group resident on the base, issued an official press release stating that the wreckage of a "crashed disk" had been recovered.
The press release was transmitted over the wire services in time to make headlines in over thirty U.S. afternoon newspapers that same day. (See [photo].)
However, within hours, a second press release was issued from the office of Brigadier General Roger Ramey, Commander of the Eighth Air Force at Fort Worth Army Air Field in Texas, 400 miles from the crash site.
This second press release rescinded the first one and, in effect, claimed that Colonel Blanchard and the officers of the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell had made an unbelievably foolish mistake and somehow incorrectly identified "a weather balloon and its radar reflector" as the wreckage of a "crashed disk."(See [photo].)
The absurdity of this hastily contrived cover story has simply fueled fifty years of conjectures and numerous anecdotal testimonies of those peripherally involved. It now appears that there is tangible evidence that there was a crash and it did have victims of some sort.
Advanced Digital Imaging Technology
Photographs taken July 8, 1947, in Fort Worth, Texas, by James Bond Johnson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, shows General Ramey, during the second press briefing, clutching a communiqu to Washington, D.C. while he was displaying a deflated weather balloon just hours after other Army officers in Roswell had reported a UFO crash.
Using a digital photo scanner to enlarge and enhance the words printed on the folded piece of paper Ramey held, and using a computer program for digital enhancement and analysis, it has now been reported that researcher David Rudiak was able to identify two key phrases: "the victims of the wreck" and "in the 'disk' they will ship."2 (See two of the photographs Rudiak analyzed:  .)
While there previously have been witnesses that claimed to "have seen bodies of the aliens loaded into a B-29," etc., this is the first tangible evidence of what some are calling the "smoking gun" that was needed to confirm the existence of a cover-up.
Rendlesham Forest Incident
Somewhat parallel to the notorious Roswell Incident in the United States, the Rendlesham Forest Incident enjoys a similar role in Great Britain. Eyewitnesses, including U.S. officers at a nearby military base, claim to have seen a brilliantly lit spaceship land in a forest in Suffolk, eastern England, on two consecutive nights in 1980.
This episode, too, has been the subject of extensive cover-ups on both sides of the Atlantic. Until now, only about 20 members of the public have seen the highly classified files.
But now the British government has announced that it will publish files on reported UFO sightings as part of a shake-up of its laws on freedom of information. Among the first documents to be published is the "Rendlesham File," which deals with one of England's best known sightings of a UFO.
Freedom of Information Minister Yvette Cooper said in a statement:
These first steps mark important progress toward changing the culture of government and extending the public's right to know what is being done in their name. 3
The British government says it intends to repeal or amend up to 100 pieces of legislation which currently prohibit disclosure of information. It aims to replace them with provisions of a new Freedom of Information Act, passed in 2000.
There are many agitating for similar reforms in the United States. Devoutly to be wished. The numerous and valiant attempts by researchers under the Freedom of Information Act in the United States have resulted in very scant results in the UFO area. The few documents that ultimately do get released are replete with blacked-out text, making them essentially useless.
Beyond the obvious hoaxers and crackpots, there is also a deliberate, consistent program to discredit this area of study as the domain of the demented or incompetent. But the more one patiently pierces the veil of misinformation - and deliberate disinformation - the more it appears that there are, indeed, sinister forces at work.
In a subsequent article, we'll explore "Majestic 12," one of the more elaborate examples of apparent disinformation involving ostensible government documents.
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This article was excerpted from some of the supplemental material which has been added to the fifth printing of our book, Alien Encounters.